Busy Autumn at Fota Island Academy

Fota Island Academy_Ronan Collins_3 (002)For many people, Autumn marks the end of the golf season, but that’s not the case for teaching professional Ronan Collins.  Ronan is based in the Academy at Fota Island and he’s looking forward to a busy off-season as many golfers will continue to work on their games over the winter months.  Collins joined the team in Fota earlier this year and has had a great first season at the Academy.  “I have loved my first summer in Fota Island, the warmth and support that I received from staff and members at the club has been fantastic” said Ronan on his first few months.  “I’m looking forward to a busy winter season ahead with group lessons planned as well as new product releases It is always an exciting time of the year.”  Having qualified in Monkstown under Batt Murphy, Collins is now a seasoned teaching pro, and having spent time in teaching, retail and custom fitting roles, he’s now delighted with his move to Fota.  “I find my job very fulfilling; I get to spend my day in top class facilities helping golfers improve their games in many ways” said Collins from his base at the Academy.  “With some I see improvements through lessons and others I see improvements through new equipment.  There is a great mix of clients from members of the club, to hotel guests from all corners of the globe to Junior Golfers.  I love the variety of golfers of all different abilities, age profiles and golfing backgrounds.  I have also found the facilities excellent which allow me as a Golf Professional to coach people on every aspect of the game.  From long game to short game and putting.  As well as having the excellent Pitching, Chipping and putting greens, I have made use of the golf course for on course lessons; this is a great way for me to see my students in a real golfing environment.”

Fota Academy_1As well as having PGA Professionals Ronan, Brian Kelleher and Kevin Morris on hand, the Academy has also invested in the latest launch monitor technology.  “At the Academy we have the latest in Trackman technology to work with each player, Trackman allows me as a golf coach to quantify angles such as path/face angle and angle of attack just to name a few” explained Collins.  “And it allows players understand what they are doing right but also what needs to be improved.  Trackman also has a test centre where the launch monitor sets targets from 60 yards all the way to driving distance.  Using over 60 shots from this, and the results based on distance control and accuracy the software scores each shot out of 100 and gives you a handicap based on how you got on your test.  When the report that is created, I can see what areas each player is strong in and weak in which allows me to work on areas of the game which need the most work.  Also the new putting software from trackman allows us to bring putter fitting to the next level, with video analysis of your stroke as well as roll percentage.  It can recommend the right Putter Head, shaft length, Insert for each player.  Something which we are very excited about is the new Toulon putter range from Odyssey. These handcrafted putters use premium materials with intelligent designs giving them a feel and look that is really something special.  This feel along with Odyssey’s advanced performance technology make these a must see.”

Fota Island Academy_Ronan Collins_1Custom fitting is another area where the Academy has invested in and there’s plenty of new equipment to check out.  “This time of the year we have seen some new product offerings from Titleist with their new AP3, Ping’s G400 range, the 700 series from Taylormade, MP18’s from Mizuno as well as Callaway Epic iron range there is plenty technology out there to get excited about and with the huge variety of shaft options available, getting the right fit is of utmost importance.”  Ronan has three key tips for golfers who continue to play during the winter: “Firstly add Loft to your driver – more carry in Winter should allow for more distance. Secondly get to know your carry distances – play golf as a numbers game.  This helps you hit more greens and give you realistic carry distances, golfers tend to overestimate how far they carry the ball.  Finally work on your golf swing in the off season.  This will help you hit the ground running in the new year.”